The Info List - Bernard Bailyn

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Bernard Bailyn (born September 10, 1922) is an American historian, author, and academic specializing in U.S. Colonial and Revolutionary-era History. He has been a professor at Harvard University since 1953. Bailyn has won the Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
for History twice (in 1968 and 1987).[1] In 1998 the National Endowment for the Humanities selected him for the Jefferson Lecture.[2] He was a recipient of the 2010 National Humanities Medal. He is married to MIT Professor of Management Lotte Bailyn (née Lotte Lazarsfeld) and is the father of Yale
astrophysicist Charles Bailyn[3] and Stony Brook Linguist John Bailyn. He has specialized in American colonial and revolutionary-era history, looking at merchants, demographic trends, Loyalists, international links across the Atlantic, and especially the political ideas that motivated the Patriots. He is best known for studies of republicanism and Atlantic history that transformed the scholarship in those fields.[4] He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1963.[5]


1 Education 2 History books 3 Major themes and ideas 4 Social history 5 Atlantic history 6 Bailyn's Students 7 Works

7.1 Original works 7.2 Editor

8 Further reading 9 References 10 External links

Education[edit] Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Bailyn earned his bachelor's degree from Williams College
Williams College
in 1945 and in 1953 earned his Ph.D
from Harvard University. He has been associated with Harvard ever since. As a graduate student at Harvard, Bailyn studied under Perry Miller, Samuel Eliot Morison, and Oscar Handlin. He was made a full professor in 1961, and professor emeritus in 1993. In 1979, he received an honorary doctorate from Grinnell College
Grinnell College
in Grinnell, IA.[6] History books[edit] Bernard Bailyn is the editor of Pamphlets
of the American Revolution, the first volume of which, published in 1965, was awarded the Faculty Prize of the Harvard University
Harvard University
Press for that year, and editor of The Apologia of Robert Keayne
Robert Keayne
(1965) and the two-volume Debate on the Constitution (1993). He co-authored The Great Republic (1977), an American history textbook; and was co-editor of The Intellectual Migration, Europe and America, 1930-1960 (1969), Law in American History (1972), The Press and the American Revolution
American Revolution
(1980), and Strangers within the Realm: Cultural Margins of the First British Empire. Major themes and ideas[edit] Bailyn's dissertation and first publications dealt with New England merchants. He argued that international commerce was an uncertain business, given the high risk of losses at sea in the very long turnaround times meant that information was often too old to be useful. Merchants
reduced the uncertainty by pooling their resources, especially with marriages to other merchant families, and placing their kinfolk as trusted agents in London
and other foreign ports. International commerce
International commerce
became a chief means of growing rich in colonial Massachusetts. However, there was an ongoing tension between the entrepreneurial spirit on the one hand and traditional Puritan culture on the other. The world of merchants became an engine of social change, undermining the isolationism, scholasticism, and religious zeal of the Puritan
leadership. Bailyn pointed the younger generation of historians away from Puritan
theology and toward broader social and economic forces. Bailyn expanded his research to the social structure of Virginia, showing how its leadership class was transformed in the 1660s. Like Edmund Morgan at Brown University
Brown University
and Yale, Bailyn emphasized the multiple roles of the family in the colonial social system.[7] Bailyn is known for meticulous research and for interpretations that sometimes challenge the conventional wisdom, especially those dealing with the causes and effects of the American Revolution. In his most influential work, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, Bailyn analyzed pre-Revolutionary political pamphlets to show that colonists believed the British intended to establish a tyrannical state that would abridge the historical British rights. He thus argued that the Revolutionary rhetoric of liberty and freedom was not simply propagandistic but rather central to their understanding of the situation. This evidence was used to displace Charles A. Beard's theory, then the dominant understanding of the American Revolution, that the American Revolution
American Revolution
was primarily a matter of class warfare and that the rhetoric of liberty was meaningless. Bailyn maintained that ideology was ingrained in the revolutionaries, an attitude he said exemplified the "transforming radicalism of the American Revolution."[8] Bailyn argued that republicanism was at the core of the values French radical thinkers had striven to affirm. He located the intellectual sources of the American Revolution
American Revolution
within a broader British political framework, explaining how English country Whig ideas about civic virtue, corruption, ancient rights, and fear of autocracy were, in the colonies, transformed into the ideology of republicanism. According to Bailyn,

The modernization of American Politics
American Politics
and government during and after the Revolution took the form of a sudden, radical realization of the program that had first been fully set forth by the opposition intelligentsia ... in the reign of George the First. Where the English opposition, forcing its way against a complacent social and political order, had only striven and dreamed, Americans driven by the same aspirations but living in a society in many ways modern, and now released politically, could suddenly act. Where the French opposition had vainly agitated for partial reforms ... American leaders moved swiftly and with little social disruption to implement systematically the outermost possibilities of the whole range of radically libertarian ideas. In the process they ... infused into American political culture ... the major themes of eighteenth-century radical libertarianism brought to realization here. The first is the belief that power is evil, a necessity perhaps but an evil necessity; that it is infinitely corrupting; and that it must be controlled, limited, restricted in every way compatible with a minimum of civil order. Written constitutions; the separation of powers; bill of rights; limitations on executives, on legislatures, and courts; restrictions on the right to coerce and wage war—all express the profound distrust of power that lies at the ideological heart of the American Revolution
American Revolution
and that has remained with us as a permanent legacy ever after.[9]

Bailyn's approach to the constellation of Whig ideas is artfully diachronic rather than structural; that is, contested libertarian meanings change through time as "the colonists" struggle to define, and to pursue, the property of independence. Recent historians, such as Tufts University
Tufts University
wiki-skeptic and CUNY professor Benjamin Carp, hold that more than any other "colonist," Boston waterfront rebels channeled their "cosmopolitanism into a belief that 'the cause of America' was a libertarian 'cause for all mankind'" (Carp, Rebels Rising, 61). Social history[edit] In the 1980s, Bailyn turned from political and intellectual history to social and demographic history. His histories of the peopling of colonial North America explored questions of immigration, cultural contact, and settlement that his mentor Handlin had pioneered decades earlier. Bailyn has been a major innovator in new research techniques, such as quantification, collective biography, and kinship analysis.[7] Bailyn is representative of those scholars who believe in the concept of American exceptionalism
American exceptionalism
but avoid the terminology, and thereby avoid getting entangled in rhetorical debates. According to Michael Kammen and Stanley N. Katz, Bailyn:

is very clearly a believer in the distinctiveness of American civilization. Although he rarely, if ever, uses the phrase "American exceptionalism," he repeatedly insists upon the "distinctive characteristics of British North American life." He has argued...that the process of social and cultural transmission resulted in peculiarly American patterns of education (in the broadest sense of the word); and he believes in the unique character of the American Revolution.[10]

Atlantic history[edit] Since the mid-1980s, Bailyn's Harvard seminar on the "History of the Atlantic World" promoted social and demographic studies, and especially regarding demographic flows of population into colonial America. As a leading advocate of the Atlantic history, Bailyn has organized an annual international seminar at Harvard designed to promote scholarship in this field.[11] Bailyn's Atlantic History: Concepts and Contours (2005) explores the borders and contents of the emerging field, which emphasizes cosmopolitan and multicultural elements that have tended to be neglected or considered in isolation by traditional historiography dealing with the Americas. Bailyn's Students[edit] Former students of Bailyn include Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
winners Michael Kammen, Jack N. Rakove and Gordon S. Wood
Gordon S. Wood
as well as Pulitzer Prize finalist Mary Beth Norton. Other notable Bailyn students include:

Fred Anderson (Crucible of War and A People's Army); Virginia
DeJohn Anderson (Creatures of Empire); Richard L. Bushman (From Puritan
to Yankee); Philip J. Greven (The Protestant Temperament, Spare the Child); Richard D. Brown
Richard D. Brown
(Revolutionary Politics in Massachusetts: The Boston Committee of Correspondence and the Towns, 1772-1774 and Knowledge Is Power: The Diffusion of Information in Early America, 1700-1865); Sally E. Hadden (Slave Patrols); David Hancock (historian) ("Oceans of Wine: Madeira and the Emergence of American Trade and Taste," "Citizens of the World: London
Merchants and the Integration of the British Atlantic Community, 1735-1785) James Henretta (Families and farms: Mentalite in Pre-Industrial America); Peter Charles Hoffer (Law and People in Colonial America, among others); Stanley N. Katz (Newcastle's New York); Pauline Maier
Pauline Maier
(American Scripture on the Declaration and Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788, winner of the 2011 George Washington Book Prize and the Fraunces Tavern Book Prize); William E. Nelson, legal and constitutional historian and Edward Weinfeld Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, author of The Fourteenth Amendment: From Political Principle to Judicial Doctrine (1988), winner of the Littleton-Griswold Prize of the American Historical Association, and many other books; Jeffrey Pasley (The First Presidential Contest, The Tyranny of Printers, Beyond the Founders); Peter H. Wood (Black Majority); Michael Zuckerman (Peaceable Kingdoms)

Many of these historians have gone on to train a new generation of American historians; others have branched out into fields as diverse as law and the history of science. Works[edit] Original works[edit]

The New England
New England
in the Seventeenth Century. Harvard University Press, 1955. Massachusetts Shipping, 1697-1714: A Statistical Study. (with Lotte Bailyn) Harvard University
Harvard University
Press, 1959. Education in the Forming of American Society: Needs and Opportunities for Study. University of North Carolina Press, 1960. The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. Harvard University Press, 1967; awarded the Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
and the Bancroft Prize in 1968. The Origins of American Politics. Knopf, 1968. The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson. Harvard University
Harvard University
Press, 1974; winner of the 1975 National Book Award in History.[12] The Great Republic: A History of the American People. Little, Brown, 1977; coauthored college textbook; several editions. The Peopling of British North America: An Introduction. Knopf, 1986. Voyagers to the West: A Passage in the Peopling of America on the Eve of the Revolution. Knopf, 1986; won the Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
in History, the Saloutos Award of the Immigration
History Society, and distinguished book awards from the Society of Colonial Wars and the Society of the Cincinnati. Faces of Revolution: Personalities and Themes in the Struggle for American Independence. Knopf, 1990. On the Teaching and Writing of History. 1994. To Begin the World Anew: The Genius and Ambiguities of the American Founders. Knopf, 2003. Atlantic History: Concept and Contours. Harvard University
Harvard University
Press, 2005. The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675, Alfred A. Knopf, 2012, ISBN 978-0394515700.


Bailyn, Bernard, ed. Pamphlets
of the American Revolution, 1750-1776. Harvard University
Harvard University
Press, 1965. Bailyn, Bernard, ed. The Debate on the Constitution: Federalist and Antifederalist Speeches, Articles, and Letters During the Struggle for Ratification. Part One: September 1787 to February 1788. Library of America, 1993. ISBN 0-940450-42-9 Bailyn, Bernard, ed. The Debate on the Constitution: Federalist and Antifederalist Speeches, Articles, and Letters During the Struggle for Ratification. Part Two: January to August 1788. Library of America, 1993. ISBN 0-940450-64-X

Further reading[edit]

Boyd, Kelly, ed. Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writers (Rutledge, 1999) 1:66-68. Coclanis, Peter A. "Drang Nach Osten: Bernard Bailyn, the World-Island, and the Idea of Atlantic History." Journal of World History 13.1 (2002): 169-182. Ekirch, A. Roger "Bernard Bailyn," in Clyde N. Wilson, ed. Twentieth-century American Historians (Gale Research Company, 1983) pp 19–26 Kammen, Michael and Stanley N. Katz, "Bernard Bailyn, Historian, and Teacher: An Appreciation." in James A. Henretta, Michael Kämmen, and Stanley N. Katz, eds. The Transformation of Early American History: Society, Authority, and Ideology
(1991) pp 3–15 Rakove, Jack N. "'How Else Could It End?' Bernard Bailyn and the Problem of Authority and Early America." in James A. Henretta, Michael Kämmen, and Stanley N. Katz, eds. The Transformation of Early American History: Society, Authority, and Ideology
(1991) pp 51–69 Rakove, Jack N. "Bernard Bailyn" in Robert Allen Rutland, ed. "Clio's Favorites: Leading Historians of the United States, 1945-2000" (U of Missouri Press. 2000) pp 5–22. Wood, Gordon. "The creative imagination of Bernard Bailyn," in James A. Henretta, Michael Kämmen, and Stanley N. Katz, eds. The Transformation of Early American History: Society, Authority, and Ideology
(1991) pp 16–50.


^ "History". Past winners & finalists by category. The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2012-03-17. ^ Jefferson Lecturers at NEH Website (retrieved January 22, 2009). ^ http://news.yale.edu/2016/07/06/heads-two-new-residential-colleges-are-named ^ Jack N. Rakove, "Bernard Bailyn" in Robert Allen Rutland, ed. "Clio's Favorites: Leading Historians of the United States, 1945-2000" (2000) pp 5-22 ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 5 May 2011.  ^ "Past Honorary Degrees Grinnell College".  ^ a b A. Roger Ekirch, "Bernard Bailyn," in Clyde N. Wilson, ed. Twentieth-century American Historians (Gale Research Company, 1983) pp 19-26 ^ Bailyn, The ideological origins of the American Revolution
American Revolution
(1992 edition) Page v ^ Bernard Bailyn, "The Central Themes of the American Revolution: An Interpretation," in S. Kurtz and J. Hutson, eds., Essays on the American Revolution
American Revolution
(1960), pp. 26–27. ^ Michael Kammen and Stanley N. Katz, "Bernard Bailyn, Historian, and Teacher: An Appreciation." in James A. Henretta, Michael Kämmen, and Stanley N. Katz, eds. The Transformation of Early American History: Society, Authority, and Ideology
(1991) p 10. ^ See See course details ^ "National Book Awards – 1975". National Book Foundation. Archived from the original on 2011-09-09. Retrieved 2012-03-17. 

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Bernard Bailyn

"To Begin the World Anew"-Politics and the Creative Imagination Jefferson Lecture for the National Endowment for the Humanities Bernard Bailyn: An Appreciation Considering the Slave Trade: History and Memory History News Network Appearances on C-SPAN "Into the Wilderness: ‘The Barbarous Years,’ by Bernard Bailyn", Charles C. Mann, The New York Times, 4 January 2013

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Presidents of the American Historical Association


Andrew Dickson White
Andrew Dickson White
(1884-85) George Bancroft
George Bancroft
(1886) Justin Winsor
Justin Winsor
(1887) William Frederick Poole
William Frederick Poole
(1888) Charles Kendall Adams
Charles Kendall Adams
(1889) John Jay (1890) William Wirt Henry (1891) James Burrill Angell
James Burrill Angell
(1892-93) Henry Adams
Henry Adams
(1893-94) George Frisbie Hoar
George Frisbie Hoar
(1895) Richard Salter Storrs
Richard Salter Storrs
(1896) James Schouler (1897) George Park Fisher (1898) James Ford Rhodes
James Ford Rhodes
(1899) Edward Eggleston
Edward Eggleston


Charles Francis Adams Jr.
Charles Francis Adams Jr.
(1901) Alfred Thayer Mahan
Alfred Thayer Mahan
(1902) Henry Charles Lea
Henry Charles Lea
(1903) Goldwin Smith
Goldwin Smith
(1904) John Bach McMaster
John Bach McMaster
(1905) Simeon Eben Baldwin
Simeon Eben Baldwin
(1906) J. Franklin Jameson (1907) George Burton Adams (1908) Albert Bushnell Hart
Albert Bushnell Hart
(1909) Frederick Jackson Turner
Frederick Jackson Turner
(1910) William Milligan Sloane
William Milligan Sloane
(1911) Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
(1912) William Archibald Dunning (1913) Andrew C. McLaughlin
Andrew C. McLaughlin
(1914) H. Morse Stephens
H. Morse Stephens
(1915) George Lincoln Burr
George Lincoln Burr
(1916) Worthington C. Ford (1917) William Roscoe Thayer
William Roscoe Thayer
(1918-19) Edward Channing (1920) Jean Jules Jusserand
Jean Jules Jusserand
(1921) Charles Homer Haskins
Charles Homer Haskins
(1922) Edward Potts Cheyney
Edward Potts Cheyney
(1923) Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
(1924) Charles McLean Andrews
Charles McLean Andrews


Dana Carleton Munro
Dana Carleton Munro
(1926) Henry Osborn Taylor (1927) James Henry Breasted
James Henry Breasted
(1928) James Harvey Robinson
James Harvey Robinson
(1929) Evarts Boutell Greene (1930) Carl L. Becker (1931) Herbert Eugene Bolton
Herbert Eugene Bolton
(1932) Charles A. Beard
Charles A. Beard
(1933) William Dodd (1934) Michael Rostovtzeff
Michael Rostovtzeff
(1935) Charles Howard McIlwain (1936) Guy Stanton Ford (1937) Laurence M. Larson (1938) William Scott Ferguson (1939) Max Farrand
Max Farrand
(1940) James Westfall Thompson (1941) Arthur M. Schlesinger Sr. (1942) Nellie Neilson (1943) William Linn Westermann
William Linn Westermann
(1944) Carlton J. H. Hayes (1945) Sidney Bradshaw Fay (1946) Thomas J. Wertenbaker
Thomas J. Wertenbaker
(1947) Kenneth Scott Latourette
Kenneth Scott Latourette
(1948) Conyers Read (1949) Samuel Eliot Morison
Samuel Eliot Morison


Robert Livingston Schuyler (1951) James G. Randall (1952) Louis R. Gottschalk (1953) Merle Curti (1954) Lynn Thorndike
Lynn Thorndike
(1955) Dexter Perkins (1956) William L. Langer (1957) Walter Prescott Webb
Walter Prescott Webb
(1958) Allan Nevins
Allan Nevins
(1959) Bernadotte Everly Schmitt (1960) Samuel Flagg Bemis (1961) Carl Bridenbaugh (1962) Crane Brinton (1963) Julian P. Boyd (1964) Frederic C. Lane (1965) Roy Franklin Nichols (1966) Hajo Holborn (1967) John K. Fairbank (1968) C. Vann Woodward
C. Vann Woodward
(1969) Robert Roswell Palmer (1970) David M. Potter (1971) Joseph Strayer (1971) Thomas C. Cochran (1972) Lynn Townsend White Jr. (1973) Lewis Hanke (1974) Gordon Wright (1975)


Richard B. Morris (1976) Charles Gibson (1977) William J. Bouwsma (1978) John Hope Franklin (1979) David H. Pinkney (1980) Bernard Bailyn (1981) Gordon A. Craig
Gordon A. Craig
(1982) Philip D. Curtin (1983) Arthur S. Link (1984) William H. McNeill (1985) Carl Neumann Degler (1986) Natalie Zemon Davis
Natalie Zemon Davis
(1987) Akira Iriye (1988) Louis R. Harlan (1989) David Herlihy (1990) William Leuchtenburg (1991) Frederic Wakeman (1992) Louise A. Tilly (1993) Thomas C. Holt (1994) John Henry Coatsworth (1995) Caroline Bynum (1996) Joyce Appleby (1997) Joseph C. Miller (1998) Robert Darnton
Robert Darnton
(1999) Eric Foner
Eric Foner


William Roger Louis (2001) Lynn Hunt (2002) James M. McPherson
James M. McPherson
(2003) Jonathan Spence (2004) James J. Sheehan
James J. Sheehan
(2005) Linda K. Kerber (2006) Barbara Weinstein (2007) Gabrielle M. Spiegel (2008) Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
(2009) Barbara D. Metcalf (2010) Anthony Grafton
Anthony Grafton
(2011) William Cronon
William Cronon
(2012) Kenneth Pomeranz
Kenneth Pomeranz
(2013) Jan E. Goldstein (2014) Vicki L. Ruiz (2015) Patrick Manning (2016) Tyler E. Stovall (2017) Mary Beth Norton (2018)

v t e

Pulitzer Prize for History
Pulitzer Prize for History

R. Carlyle Buley
R. Carlyle Buley
(1951) Oscar Handlin (1952) George Dangerfield (1953) Bruce Catton
Bruce Catton
(1954) Paul Horgan (1955) Richard Hofstadter
Richard Hofstadter
(1956) George F. Kennan
George F. Kennan
(1957) Bray Hammond (1958) Leonard D. White and Jean Schneider (1959) Margaret Leech (1960) Herbert Feis (1961) Lawrence H. Gipson (1962) Constance McLaughlin Green (1963) Sumner Chilton Powell (1964) Irwin Unger (1965) Perry Miller (1966) William H. Goetzmann (1967) Bernard Bailyn (1968) Leonard Levy (1969) Dean Acheson
Dean Acheson
(1970) James MacGregor Burns (1971) Carl Neumann Degler (1972) Michael Kammen (1973) Daniel J. Boorstin
Daniel J. Boorstin
(1974) Dumas Malone
Dumas Malone

Complete list (1917–1925) (1926–1950) (1951–1975) (1976–2000) (2001–2025)

v t e

Pulitzer Prize for History
Pulitzer Prize for History

Paul Horgan (1976) David M. Potter (completed and edited by Don E. Fehrenbacher) (1977) Alfred D. Chandler Jr. (1978) Don E. Fehrenbacher
Don E. Fehrenbacher
(1979) Leon Litwack (1980) Lawrence A. Cremin (1981) C. Vann Woodward
C. Vann Woodward
(1982) Rhys Isaac
Rhys Isaac
(1983) Thomas K. McCraw (1985) Walter A. McDougall (1986) Bernard Bailyn (1987) Robert V. Bruce (1988) James M. McPherson/ Taylor Branch
Taylor Branch
(1989) Stanley Karnow
Stanley Karnow
(1990) Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
(1991) Mark E. Neely Jr. (1992) Gordon S. Wood
Gordon S. Wood
(1993) Doris Kearns Goodwin
Doris Kearns Goodwin
(1995) Alan Taylor (1996) Jack N. Rakove (1997) Edward Larson
Edward Larson
(1998) Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace (1999) David M. Kennedy (2000)

Complete list (1917–1925) (1926–1950) (1951–1975) (1976–2000) (2001–2025)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 108394198 LCCN: n50016110 ISNI: 0000 0001 0931 2631 GND: 119514370 SUDOC: 029320003 BNF: cb120971306 (data) BIBSYS: 90058936 NLA: 35012134 NDL: 00432087 NKC: ola2003196329 BNE: XX1722